TIME TRAVELER’S ALMANAC – Jeff VanderMeer, editor
  Book Reviews    April 13, 2015     Eric Larkin

I would trade all the technology of the internet for the technology of time travel, even though it would cost me my job.

This is a long-ass book, 943 pages, not counting the preface and introduction, both of which you should read.  The four sections are grouped by type: Experiments, Reactionaries and Revolutionaries, Mazes and Traps, and Communiqués.  Right there you can see the comprehensiveness of this anthology.  You could argue that time travel stories are cliché, but only if you are ignorant of how many ways time travel can be used in telling a story.  This is time travel via machine, magic, good/bad luck, wormhole, storm, consciousness transfer, dancing, and some ways I frankly didn’t understand even after a few rereads – it’s a weird universe, man.  You’ve got the people you knew would be in here: Wells, Bradbury, Turtledove, and more luminaries, newbies and forgotten titans than I can list.  You’ve got old school stories with the right kind of jargon:  “But if the conceleration runs asymptotically to the Frontier, as it should if Their Time works in mirror-image, would anything ever have got over?”  Indeed.  Gawd, I love that.  You also have the philosophical angle: “How can you make rhythm to a prolonged and completely silent beat?”  You will meet Kit Marlowe, Hercules and the Devil.  In a sizable chunk of these, the time travel is pretty incidental, just a part of the world of that story. There are only one or two stories I didn’t actually like, but that’s a matter of taste. My only quibble is that because you’re reading these out of a time-travel-themed anthology, if the story ever had that (time travel) as an element of surprise, it’s gone. Cuz “time travel” is written on the damn cover. But what do you do? There are 65 stories, plus four essays that front the four sections.  The essays cover time travel tips, theory, fashion and offer a time travel playlist that’s about 15 hours long.  This is info you will need for your travels across/thru the fourth dimension, so read the essays.  New-to-me standouts: Connie Willis, Kage Baker and Charles Stross.  This temporal behemoth is a perfect blend of Old School Sci-Fi and Is This Even Sci-Fi?  It’s round the clock brain-tweak and heartache.

You can add this to your list of Really Long Books.

 

Scientists send quantum light particles into the past to kill Hitler! Not really.

Stranger Dimension’s Rob Schwarz time travel exposé !

Reread this 3 times. Still not sure I understand. Can still nod my head, like “Hmm – a CDC, yeah.”

And yeah, I’ll plug these guys again – Echo Park Time Travel Mart – cuz they’re awesome and have tutoring and what not for kids.

[interactive copyright notice]
Subscribe
Dwarf + Giant